Admissions for graduate students

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Teaching assistantships

Graduate teaching assistantship appointments are integral to the success of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre. A teaching assistantship appointment varies by area and may not necessarily have teaching responsibilities. Teaching assistantships may be assigned work in technical or clerical areas or to other tasks.

Students who are awarded an assistantship must enroll in a minimum of six credit hours of coursework each fall and spring semester during which the assistantship is assigned. Degree applicants seeking an appointment as a teaching assistant must indicate their desire to be considered for an assistantship position at the time they submit their music, dance or theatre application.

Students applying for admission to a graduate music program will indicate their teaching assistantship preferences in their supplemental music application during the admission process. There is no separate application for those applying for admission to the program. You are encouraged to ask the three recommenders listed on your music application to address your teaching ability and the probability of your success as a teaching assistant in the recommendation letters submitted in your music application. Current music graduate students should follow the instructions below to apply for a teaching assistantship.

Current music students must complete an assistantship application which is separate from the admissions application. Although applications for assistantships are accepted at any time, preference is given to applications received before February 15 for appointments beginning the following fall semester. Additional letters of recommendation (beyond the three letters submitted for your music application) are not required for your assistantship application.

Current dance students should consult Becky Dyer ( for any available assistantships. An application may be required.

Current theatre students should consult Rachel Bowditch ( for any available assistantships. An application may be required. 


Stipend + Tuition Benefits

Stipend + Tuition Benefits

Typical awards are 25% assistantships, which amount to ten hours of work per week. Teaching assistants with 25% appointments receive:

  • Tuition remission covering the non-resident portion of tuition
  • 50% reduction in the resident portion of tuition (excluding university, program, and special course fees, and international student health insurance)
  • $4,793 stipend per fall and spring semester, distributed over bi-weekly paychecks throughout the course of the semester

Current tuition and fees may be calculated using the ASU Tuition Estimator.

Application Instructions

Application Instructions

New ASU Music Grad Students: If you are current applying for a graduate music degree at ASU, then your music application is also your TA application. No other application is required. Be sure to indicate that you are interested in a TA position in your music application.

Current ASU Music Graduate Students ONLY: Follow these instructions prior to accessing the application.

  1. log out of ALL non-ASU Google accounts. This may be a personal Gmail or YouTube account.
  2. Click the button below to access the application, which will prompt you to log in using your newly activated MyASU credentials.

Teaching Assistantship Application


Spoken English Requirement for Non-Native English Speakers

Spoken English Requirement for Non-Native English Speakers

In accordance with Arizona State University requirements, if your native language is not English, you must meet spoken English requirements before being eligible for a teaching assistantship. The spoken English requirement is met by one of the following:

  • Attaining a score of 26 or better on the speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT®.
  • Attaining a score of 8 or better on the speaking portion of the IELTS
  • Passing the ASU SPEAK Test with a minimum score of 55.
  • ITA Teacher Training Course - a free course completed at ASU in the semester prior to receiving a teaching assistantship

(Test scores must be taken within two years of the semester of admission.)

The SPEAK Test is administered by the ASU Language Lab and is offered online for convenience. The SPEAK test should be completed no later than March 1 for fall admission. 

SPEAK Test Registration

Register for the SPEAK Test online.

Preparing for the SPEAK Test

Piano Applicants

Piano Applicants

In addition to the application for assistantship, those applying for a teaching assistantship in class piano or piano preparatory teaching are required to upload as part of the music application a video demonstration of piano teaching in English, including two complete lessons (20–30 minutes each), preferably of students at different levels. Individual and/or group lessons at any level are acceptable. If you did not upload your teaching demonstration to your music application, please email for instructions on submitting your recording.

Composition applicants

Composition applicants

Composition applicants wishing to be considered for a graduate assistantship must submit complete application materials and portfolios by the application deadline of December 1. Those who are invited for an interview will then be considered for any available assistantship positions and must complete the online theory diagnostic exam. Instructions for the exam will be sent to applicants at the time they receive their interview date and time confirmation email. Additionally, those who complete a live composition interview will be scheduled for TA interview with the theory faculty.